Greetings from the Ether,
With the release of Hinnom Magazine Issue 007, we wanted to take a moment to spotlight some of the authors involved in the project. Sarah Gribble’s story “Thirst” is a thrilling journey into horror with some visually unforgettable concepts. Join us as we dive into the crafting of the story, and what the future has in store for the author.
CP: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How you came to write horror fiction?
SG: Horror was my first love (next to Edward Scissorhands). I grew up devouring The X-Files, The Outer Limits, and any R.L. Stine or Stephen King book I could get my hands on. Luckily my mom believed in letting me read whatever I wanted. (Thanks, Mom!) I just love getting creeped out. I even love it when I have nightmares. I think it was just natural when I finally came around to writing seriously that I fell into horror. You get out what you put in.
CP: “Thirst” is a visually disturbing and intense tale with a lot of original concepts. Can you tell us how it came to fruition? What inspired the piece?
SG: A few different things came together with this one. Mostly a news article I read that discussed the melting ice and permafrost, particularly in Siberia, and the ancient bacteria and viruses that could be released as that ice melts. These are diseases we might not even know about, let alone have any kind of resistance to or medicine to treat. Around the same time I read that story, I read another article about the melting glacier in Greenland. And it just kind of hit me that something released from that ice would be in a prime area to infect the Western world. I didn’t want to go with the standard kind of plague story, where planes transfer the virus or animals escape a lab. I wanted it to be more natural to show how quickly this kind of thing could spread, even if airports shut down. I think we tend to think we’re safe and the government or CDC or some other health organization will keep us that way, but that’s not necessarily the case. And that’s terrifying without having to make up a story.
CP: Your stories have appeared in some great publications. Where exactly do you hope your writing takes you? What goals do you hope to achieve?
SG: I think all horror writers want to be the next Stephen King. (And that definitely wouldn’t be terrible!) I’m just hoping to make a name for myself even if it’s a little one. I love writing and I love sharing my writing with people. Especially if it results in them losing some sleep!
CP: Do you have any other projects you’re working on? What does the future hold for Sarah Gribble?
SG: I’m always working on something. I have a whole pile of stories in various stages of completion, I’m brainstorming ideas for a new novel, and I’m currently querying agents for a YA dark fantasy novel about a girl who has to escort souls to hell. Fingers crossed!
CP: What has been your favorite moment thus far, as an author?
SG: This is actually a tough question. I think every time I get an acceptance is my favorite moment. There’s a little high that comes with it. A lovely feeling of accomplishment and self-worth where you go “Someone likes me!” And like all drugs, it just makes you want more, so you go write again. (After a little celebration, of course.)
CP: What writer do you find the most inspiring, living or dead? Why?
SG: Ania Ahlborn. She’s just an amazing writer and a pretty cool person. And her books scare the hell out of me. I no longer tend to get super creeped out while reading or watching horror, but The Shuddering had my heart racing. Anyone that can scare me like that deserves accolades.
CP: We always like to end our interviews with a little tidbit of advice for the many readers who are writers themselves. What’s the best advice you could give to a new author?
SG: Read! I know that’s tired advice, but I know so many new writers who just don’t really read much. That’s insane to me. It’s like trying to build a high-rise without having ever looked at a building plan before. Read widely and study your genre. Study the structure, the backstory placement, the dialogue. Study it all.
My other advice is don’t be afraid to get feedback. Join a writing community (mine’s The Write Practice) or have a group of friends and family who will give you their honest opinion and won’t just offer vague praises. Sharing your art is like ripping your skull open for the world to study your brain—so terrifying! But you have to get feedback in order to get better, and the nerves will go away after a while. I promise.
Sarah Gribble physically resides somewhere in Ohio, but where her mind resides depends on the day. She writes sometimes. She bangs her head against the wall other times. Her short stories have been featured in a variety of online and print publications. You can find her on Facebook and @sarahstypos or connect with her at sarah-gribble.com.